Stakes aim next for capable Tavistock stayer

4 Jul 2017

Tavistock five-year-old Francis Drake secured a start in this month's Listed Taurmarunui Cup at Rotorua when he raced away for a staying feature win at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson trained son of boom Cambridge Stud sire Tavistock claimed his seventh victory from 38 starts when he scooted clear of his rivals in the Jumpflex NZ 2100, scoring by four lengths under the topweight of 61kg for leading rider Chris Johnson.

It was his fifth win at Te Rapa.

Johnson had his mount travelling easily in midfield during the early stages of the contest before allowing him to slide around to attack the leaders turning for home.

Co-trainer Graeme Rogerson surprised many when he commented on the possible future for his charge.

“This little horse is the best jumper I’ve had since Lord Zirito and Jean Rapier,” he said.

“He jumped 50 hurdles on Wednesday morning and boy can he jump. I think that’s his forte. We will take him overseas for his jumping so hopefully he’s an Australian type of horse with the jumping thanks to his ability on the flat.”

Rogerson was delighted with how the horse had handled the 61-kilogram impost as he pondered on where to take him next.

“It takes a good horse to win with that weight especially when the others are claiming,” he said.

“We may take him to Ruakaka next week but he’s likely to have to carry 63kgs.  I might have to put Ryan [Elliot, stable apprentice] on with a claim but he’s going great at the moment. He’s really copping it and we might go to the Taumarunui Cup after that.” - NZ Racing Desk